For the technician, timing belt replacement can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive repair. For the consumer, this translates into a hefty repair bill for a service that may need to be performed more than once during the life of their vehicle. For the parts specialist, it presents an excellent opportunity to sell all the parts and supplies required to perform this often complicated repair.
According to one major aftermarket manufacturer, there are more than 70 million vehicles currently in operation which rely on timing belts to keep their crankshaft and camshaft(s) in sync. The manufacturer’s recommended replacement intervals can range between 50,000 and 120,000 miles for timing belts. Waiting until the belt gives out can have disastrous consequences. Seventy percent of these applications are interference engines, and nearly 50 percent of these timing systems also drive the engine’s water pump. As a result, complete timing kits (especially those including a water pump) have become a growing product line for many belt manufacturers, popular with technicians and parts specialists alike.
The timing belt water pump kit is a convenient and simple way for the parts specialist to offer the technician everything in one box. It simplifies cataloging, reduces the number of SKUs and helps eliminate those unexpected callbacks over forgotten or overlooked components. It is the most complete method of providing all the necessary components, and also offers ready access to some hard-to-find components. For instance, there are a number of applications that use hydraulic tensioners to provide damping and keep constant tension on the belt drive. These tensioners are not often found in more basic timing kits, partly due to their increased cost over spring-loaded tensioners. Sometimes, the devil is in the details, and complete kits also often include small hardware-type items like springs and fasteners, which are otherwise nearly impossible to source from anywhere but OEM dealers. Finally, when compared to purchasing individual components from several different sources, complete timing kits can offer a significant savings to the service dealer as well as the consumer.
Replacing the timing belt and associated pulleys as part of a preventive maintenance schedule is only a portion of the complete timing repair. For timing belts operating well past their recommended service intervals, remember that the rest of the timing components are at least as old as (or even older than) the belt, and may be worn out too!
Article courtesy Counterman.